Several possible titles have been suggested:
A pen inscription on the hack of the panel, dating from the first exhibition in 1884, reads 'The Pier, a grey note/ No. 1, catalogue/ "Notes, Harmonies, Nocturnes".' The inscription has faded and the title given to the painting in Boston in 1934 was based on a misreading.
'The Pier: A Grey Note' is the preferred title.
A view from a beach, looking across green seas to a pier at far left. There is someone standing on the beach and a rider on a horse in the surf at right.
The view was identified conclusively by Anna Greutzner Robins: it shows Smeaton's Pier in the coastal town of St Ives, Cornwall, in south-west England: the pier also appears in the distance in Grey and Silver: Mist - Life Boat [YMSM 287]. 5
1: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884 (cat. no. 1).
2: Oils, Water-colors, Drawings and Prints by James McNeill Whistler, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1934 (cat. no. 14).
3: Winter Exhibition, Society of British Artists, London, 1886 (cat. no. 235).
Last updated: 11th November 2020 by Margaret